Alternative Radio Stations and Ideological Propaganda in Zimbabwe

The Case of Voice of America’s Studio 7

  • Kurebwa Jeffrey Bindura University of Science Education
  • Ndlovu Mercy, nm Bindura University of Science Education
Keywords: ideological propaganda, radio stations, broadcasts, public media, private media


The study explored the extent to which broadcasts from alternative radio stations contribute to spreading ideological propaganda with reference to Voice of America’s (VOA) Studio 7. Arguments on the nexus between the different ideologies and politics making radio in particular a contested space where politicians seek to project their version of reality and win support for themselves were presented. The study also outlined how alternative radio stations acted as the theatre where those on the periphery seek to subvert the status quo through creating a counter narrative challenging the existing order. Data was gathered through key informant interviews and documentary search. The major findings of the study were that the country’s restrictive media laws have resulted in the continued broadcast of Studio 7. Although such broadcasts are key in giving alternative voices, at times these are exaggerated hence tarnishing the country’s international image.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Kurebwa Jeffrey, Bindura University of Science Education

Department of Peace and Governance, Bindura University of Science Education,

Ndlovu Mercy, nm, Bindura University of Science Education

Department of Peace and Governance, Bindura University of Science Education,


African Union Commission (1981). African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.
Althusser, L. (1971). Lenin and Philosophy and other Essays. Monthly Review Press: New York.
Atton, C. (2002). Alternative Media. London: Sage.
Blacke, C. (2005). An African Nationalist Ideology Framed in Diaspora and the Development Quagmire: Any Hope for a Renaissance? An African Nationalist Ideology Framed in Diaspora and the Deve. Journal of Black Studies, 573 -596.
Bristor, J. E. (1995). Race and Ideology: African-American Images in Television Advertising. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 48 - 59.
Bryant, J. and Zillmann, D. (2009). A retrospective and prospective look at media effects. In R. Nabi & M.B. Oliver (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of media processes and effects (9-18). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
Cawte, M. (1996). Radio as a Tool Of War: Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.
Farago, L. (2011). Against the Ruling Political Power: Clandestine Activities and Pirates in Europe from 1933 to the Present. Act Sci Soc 33: 103-112.
Farwell, J.P (2012). Persuasion and Power: The Art of Strategic Communication, Georgetown University Press.
Forde, S. (2012). Challenging the News: The Journalism of Alternative and Community Media. Pacific Journalism Review, Vol. 18 Issue 2, pp. 199-202.
Gunner, L., Ligaga,D. and Moyo. D. (2011). Radio in Africa: Publics, Cultures, Communities. Johannesburg: Wits University Press.
Haas, T. (2004). Alternative Media, Public Journalism and the Pursuit of Democratization. Journalism Studies, 5 (1): 115–121.
Halliung, M. L. (1996). Contemporary Political Ideologies. New York: Harper Collins.
Ibuot, I. J. (2011). Traditional African Ideology, Remittances and the Waste of Resources. Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa, 324 - 334.
Jowett (2005). What is Propaganda and How Does It Differ From Persuasion? South Africa , Unisa Press.
Kupe, T. (2005). Diasporic Journalism. Rhodes Journalism Review, 25, 14–26.
Mare, A. (2013). New Media, pirate radio and the creative appropriation of technology in Zimbabwe: Case of Radio Voice of the People, Journal of African Cultural Studies, 25:1, 30-41.
McCain, J. A. (1975). Ideology in Africa: Some Perceptual Types. African Studies Review, 61-87.
McCombs, M. and Shaw, L. D. (1972). The Agenda- Setting Function of the Media. Public Opinion Quarterly, Vol. 36 pp.176-87
Mosia, L., Riddle, C. & Zaffiro, J. (1994). From revolutionary to regime radio: Three Decades of Nationalist Broadcasting in Southern Africa. Africa Review 8(1): 3–15.
Moyo, D. (2004). From Rhodesia to Zimbabwe: change without change? Broadcasting Policy Reform and Political Control. In M. Henning (ed), Media, Public Discourse and Political Contestation, 12–28. Uppsala: Nordic Africa Institute.
Moyo, D. (2009). Citizen Journalism and the Parallel Market of Information in Zimbabwe’s 2008 Elections. Journalism Studies, 10 (4): 551–567.
Moyo, D. (2010). Reincarnating Clandestine Radio in Post-independent Zimbabwe. The Radio Journal–International Studies in Broadcast and Audio Media 8 (1): 23–36.
Moyo, D. (2011). From Rhodesia to Zimbabwe: Change without Change? Broadcasting Policy Reform and Political Control. London: Routledge.
Moyo, D. and Chuma, W. (2010). Media policy in a changing southern Africa: Critical reflections on media reforms in the global age. Pretoria: Unisa Press.
Moyo, L. 2012. Participation, citizenship and pirate radio as empowerment: The case of radio dialogue in Zimbabwe. International Journal of Communication 6: 3–14.
Muchena, E. (2013). Revisiting the Media Landscape: A Context- Based Reappraisal of New Media Laws in Zimbabwe: Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 17, Issue 3, pp.68-75.
Ndlela, M. N. (2009). Alternative Media and the Political Public Sphere in Zimbabwe. In K. Howley (ed). Understanding Community Media. London: Sage Publications.
Ndlovu, E. (2015). Three Waves of Media Repression in Zimbabwe, African Journalism Studies, 36:2, 25-44.
Ndlovu, G. S. (2011). The Construction and Decline of Chimurenga Monologue in Zimbabwe: A Study in Resilience of Ideology and Limits of Alternatives. 4th European Conference on African Studies (pp. 1-22). Uppsala: UCSA4.
Ndlovu-Gatsheni, S. (2003). Dynamics of the Zimbabwe Crisis in the 21st Century. In African Journal on Conflict Resolution: 99–134.
Shaw, F.E. (1979). Agenda Setting and Mass Communication Theory. International Communication Gazette: Sage Publications.
Soley, L. C. (1995). Heating up Clandestine radio after the Cold War. In E. Pease & E. E. Dennis (eds). Radio: The forgotten medium, New Brunswick and London: Transaction Publishers.
Soley, L. C. and Nichols, J.S. (1987). Clandestine radio broadcasting : A study of revolutionary and counter-revolutionary electronic communication. New York: Praeger. Van der Veur,
Westley, B. and Maclean, M. (1957). ‘A Conceptual Model for Communications Research’, Journalism Quarterly, Vol. 34, pp.31-38.
Whetmore, E. J. (1993). Mediamerica, Mediaworld: Form, Content and Consequence of mass communication. (5th ed.) Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing Company.
Wilson, J. R. & Wilson, S. R. (2001). Mass media/mass culture: An introduction. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Ziegler, D. and Asante, M. (1992). Thunder and silence: The mass media in Africa. New Jersey: Africa World Press.
How to Cite
Jeffrey, K., & Mercy, N. (2019). Alternative Radio Stations and Ideological Propaganda in Zimbabwe. IJRDO - Journal of Social Science and Humanities Research (ISSN: 2456-2971), 4(2), 08-22. Retrieved from